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Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review


published on November 3, 2017

Heather Kavan
DOI: 10.5840/asrr201711240

Friendly Fire
How Falun Gong Mistook Me For an Enemy

This paper tells the story of my research on Falun Gong and its aftermath. I describe a series of events including online slurs, implied threats and warnings, phone and email harassment, and messages to my colleagues, seemingly designed to isolate, demoralize and silence me. Next, I narrate discovering references to an intelligence report stating that former United States Army Colonel Robert Helvey was believed to be acting as an adviser to Falun Gong. I discuss Helvey’s book “On Strategic Nonviolent Conflict” as a check-list of Falun Gong tactics. I query the appropriateness of targeting academics with psychological violence designed to topple dictators and suggest the spiritual movement would be better suited to the principled nonviolence of Gandhi and Martin Luther King.